Written by Special Guest Author Becca O.
“Bec? I’m home. Bec?” Nick kicked the door closed with his foot, balancing a huge bouquet of flowers in one hand and a paper grocery bag in the other. “Becca?”
Nick set the bag on the kitchen counter and opened the freezer door, nestling the bottle of champagne down into the ice tray to chill. Holding the flowers behind his back, he set off to find his wife. He found her on the glider swing they’d gotten for Christmas. She was stretched out, nearly dozing, with a sleeping Garrett propped up on her knees.
“Want me to take him?”
“He’s fine. How did it go?” She never even opened her eyes, and if Nick hadn’t come home when he did, she’d have been asleep.
“Why don’t I take him so you can grab a nap?”
“I’m fine, Nick, I’m just enjoying the fresh air. So tell me what happened.”
Nick dropped onto a lounge chair, kicking off his sneakers. “It was a good meeting. Lani said-“
“Lani, the woman in charge of my community service. Anyway, she seems to think I can get by with doing some appearances. You know, for charities and stuff like that.”
“Seems awfully easy to me.”
“I know, Bec, if you had your way I’d be on the roadside chain gang picking up trash.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t really mean it that way.” Becca opened her eyes to find Nick stretched out, one arm thrown over his weary eyes. “Looks like you’re the one who could use a nap.”
“You were out awfully late.”
“I’m sorry for the way I’ve been treating you. I’ve been nasty, and selfish, and-”
“Yes, you have.”
Certainly not the reaction Nick was expecting, and his eyes flew open. “Bec?”
“You hurt me Nick. Every time you shut me out, every time you walked out on me, every time you raised your voice, it cut me just a little deeper. You never let me talk about Andrew’s money or try to explain how I felt about it. And then I find out you’ve been arrested?”
“Bec, I can explain that.”
“Who was she?”
“You know?” Nick blurted, and then blanched, and there was no way to hide what he was feeling.
“Oh god. It’s true. How could you?” Becca’s face was just as pale as Nick’s and he began to panic.
“Baby, no, I swear it’s not like that.” He was off the lounge chair in a heartbeat, kneeling on the ground beside the glider. “Baby, I love you. I’d never cheat on you. Please, Bec, you have to believe me.”
Becca watched him through her tears, and knew in her heart that he was telling the truth. “Why haven’t you told me about it, then? Why does everyone else know what happened except me, your wife?”
“Because I’m an idiot, Bec. I’ve fucked things up so badly, and I can’t ever take back what I did.”
“Nick, I need to know. I love you so much, but you never talk to me anymore.”
“Give me GT, Bec. Let me put him down so we can talk, okay?”
Becca relaxed her hold on the baby, and Nick gently took him. When he returned a few minutes later, he had a glass of wine for Becca and a beer for himself.
“Great. First Sarah, now you.”
“The wine. Never mind. Sit.” She patted the seat beside her and Nick sat down, staring out across the back yard. She let him be, knowing he was trying to gather his thoughts, and when he began to talk, the entire story came tumbling forth. Becca listened, really listened, to all that he’d been through; to what he was thinking, and she heard him begin to apologize, again, for everything he’d put her through.
“Can you ever forgive me?” he whispered.
“Nick, I love you.”
“That’s not really an answer, Bec.”
“Look at me.” When he didn’t, she turned sideways and rested her hand on his cheek. “Look at me, Nick.” She turned his face toward hers. “I love you Nick, and we can get through this. Yes, I can forgive you. But Nick, you have to be honest with me. I did this, I lived this – last year with all I put you through – and I know how easy it is to get caught up in everything. I can’t erase my past Nick. Andrew was a very real part of it, and I’d love to pretend he didn’t exist. I can’t. But I can certainly use his legacy to stop some other young, naďve girl from being hurt. Let him make amends, Nick. Let him work through me to do something good and lasting.” She sniffled as Nick used his thumbs to wipe the tears from her cheeks. “Help me make a difference, Nick. I can’t do it if you’re not there with me.”
Nick lifted her easily onto his lap, and pressed her head to his shoulder. Starting the glider in motion once more, he kissed her forehead and whispered, “I love you, baby. I do.”
Chapter 19 Index